Shalom

16 January, 2006 at 22:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am a graduate student in Cultural Anthropology, as well as a Ger who is currently studying for conversion to Judaism.

In the course of my graduate studies in the “Anthropology of Religion,” and while serving as a graduate lecturer in a course entitled “The Cultural World of Jesus and the Disciples,” I developed a profound interest in Judaism. This interest led to my entering into independent¬† study with Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis, as well as regular attendance at synagogues and celebration of the Jewish holidays. In the course of my studies I have read a lot of books on conversion to Judaism, but have found very little that specifically addresses the African-American coversion experience.

My experience as an African-American male in urban synagogues in Los Angeles and The San Francisco Bay Area has been largely positive, with most congregants warmly welcoming us (my wife and I – she is also African-American) and doing their best to assist us along out journey. I am very much interested in compiling the personal narratives of other African-Americans who have chosen to pursue Judaism as a religion (I am particularly interest in those persons who are not married to a Jewish partner).

If you could write about such topics as: what religion you originally belonged to/currently are and what motivated you to depart from it; reasons for converting/seeking conversion; familial response to your decision; your experiences in finding a rabbi to study under; how you chose a congregation; what your feelings were/are with respect to your perceived acceptance in the congregation; how you are negotiating your African-Americaness with Judaism; as well as any and all other subjects that are import to you.

Ultimately, I would like to publish these narratives so that other African-Americans who seek the path to Judaism will have more resources than you or I did.

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